SPOILER ALERT: I WARN ALL READERS THAT THE FOLLOWING CONTENT IS DEEPLY SHALLOW AND 80s ORIENTED. THUS SAID, IT IS FASCINATING READING...
Being a female viewer of a certain age, I would be curious if there was any other female out there my age (+/- 10 yrs) who did NOT see Sixteen Candles, and did not nurse even the tiniest crush on Jake Ryan. His clothes are still cool (Combats?!? in 84?!? ok, he could lose the boat shoes), his haircut would need only slight tweaking, and the car would still work for most ladies.
Had a extended discussion with Terri, my very serious, very efficient and incredibly stylish manager at RH Studio who confirmed that indeed, Jake Ryan is a seminal cinematic character. She in fact pointed me towards a site where I could purchase an 'I Love Jake Ryan' t-shirt (they even make men's sizes for all those poor gay teenagers who were in love with Jake too and can now wear the tshirt proudly!)
This phenomenon is not in my head: Two years ago on Valentines Day, there was an article in the Washington Post validating my crush after all these years. Of course I immediately forwarded this article to my friend Cecilie in Norway, who has had no shame in proclaiming her love for Jake.
This year on Valentines, however, a rebuttal article was published that argued that Lloyd Dobbler from Say Anything was the ultimate 80s crush, and that John Cusak's character set the gold standard for all men who would try and follow. Interesting article, thought provoking, but I'm sorry - Lloyd's long black trenchcoat is just offputting. (just too Columbine-y...)
And in Googling all of this, I came across an interesting idea: the Teen Hollywood DVD box set. Had Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, and Weird Science. A fine representation of a certain period, but Torbjorn argues that his boxed set would be Heathers, Drop Dead Gorgeous, and Virgin Suicides. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is no time for auteurs, dear friend. This is a time for stepping up and embracing your true 80s self. Can't Buy Me Love, anyone??
So the gauntlet is out there: what do we think, O Children of the 80s?? Does Lloyd crush Jake? The acting superiority of John Cusak over Michael Schoeffling is a given, and therefore moot. Discussion to follow.